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JSUCamel
08-09-2009, 02:31 PM
As some of you know, I moved to Chicago almost a year ago to work with Tam at our day job. Even though he left in January, I stayed on.

I love Chicago. It's a great city. There's all kinds of cool stuff to do, people to meet, theatre to see, food to eat.. The lake is beautiful in the summer, there are festivals and fairs every weekend, the weather is perfect in the summer.

On the flip side, the winters are brutal. The sidewalk in front of my apartment, from Halloween until JordanCon in April, it was covered in snow -- it never melted.

I've been in Chicago for a year, and I can count one, maybe two people that I speak to more than once a week. I'm not terribly social, but I've been making extra effort over the last six months to try and develop a social network so that I can at least have friends. Alas, I really don't have many. I know a ton of people, but when i ask them to do something, there's always an excuse -- sometimes legit, sometimes not-so-legit.

Theatre-wise, I'm happy, but as far as the other social situations.. not so much.

In February, I was laid off from my full time job (Tam got to keep his job *shakes fist semi-angrily*).

I've been spending my time since then looking for a job. I had a part-time job with a real estate company developing their email templates (you know, the fancy emails you get with images and product descriptions and such, except for properties not products) and I do some freelance web development on the side (current project is a massive email newsletter application so a mortgage company can spam you better!).

As of Friday afternoon, I was laid-off from the part-time job with the real estate company.

About a month ago I realized how I wasn't very happy in Chicago and started thinking about places to move. I was hoping the real-estate gig would last through the end of my lease, but if wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak, right? Right.

My lease is up Sept 30th.

I've got a few options:

1) Suck it up and stay in Chicago. This would be nice if I thought my social situation would improve and if I could land a full time job. Alas, without the latter, the former is impossible, and in this economy, I can't assume I'm gonna find a job before I run out of money. I was already losing about $500/month living in Chicago with the part time job. Now I'll be losing close to $1800/month.

2) Move back to Atlanta. My mother lives in Atlanta, and while I don't relish the idea of living with my parents again, it's free shelter and mostly free food. I don't have any friends in Atlanta, either, but it's close enough to JSU that I could take trips every other weekend or so to get my social outlet fix. Plus, there are some theatres. The downsides, of course, are the no friends and the whole living-with-my-mom thing.

3) Move back to Birmingham, AL. My father lives there, it's where I grew up, I've got a few friends there, it's closer to JSU than Atlanta so I can visit,... It's not a very big city, the job market isn't great, and there's not much room for advancement. Also, I don't care for the city that much. It's not bad,.. but it's no Chicago.

4) Move to Raleigh, NC. I've got about 8 friends that have been begging me for years to move there. There are a bunch of community theatres around, it's much cheaper than Chicago (slightly more expensive than JSU).. the job market's not great.. probably comparable to Birmingham. The upside is friends, theatre, and the fact that I can survive on a part-time job.. the downside is that it's not free rent (like Birmingham or Atlanta).

5) Move somewhere else. I have no idea.


So here are my thoughts so far:

First, I don't want to stay in Chicago. If I was truly happy here, I wouldn't even consider moving. The fact that I'm considering means that.. well,.. I'm not happy.

Second, while Atlanta, Birmingham and Chicago are known quantities, Raleigh is a completely new place for me. My big fear is that I won't be any happier there. At the same time, I figure the worst case scenario is a continuation of the status quo.

Third, I have to make this decision rather soon. As you can see (assuming you made it this far), I've thought this through a lot. I'm still unable to make any decisions -- whether from fear of making a bad one or whatever -- and all of my normal sources for advice are really biased. My mother, for instance, wants me to move to Atlanta so she can see me more often. Likewise for my father. My friends in NC want me to move to Raleigh, naturally..

You guys, on the other hand, are much more impartial about this kind of thing.

This time last year, I was $23,000 in debt. In February, I got out of debt and had $14,000 in the bank. Now I'm down to about $8,000, and it's gonna drop rapidly unless something changes. Therefore, I'm running out of time to make a decision and get the ball rolling.

So.. I'd like to hear your thoughts, suggestions, whatever.

Thanks in advance.

irerancincpkc
08-09-2009, 02:44 PM
I would personally move to Raleigh, but first move either to Birmingham or Atlanta, whereever I could find the better job, rent free, and make sure I was secure finacially while waiting to secure a job in Raleigh before I moved there... but that's me... :)

Zaela Sedai
08-09-2009, 03:08 PM
I would say the same Spammer, except if he's not working in Chicago, theres no loss job wise...

But Camel, could you go stay with mom or dad while searching for a job in Raleigh? That way you wouldn't lose as much money and still end up where it sounds like you'd be happiest? I would shoot for Raleigh since you seem to have some good friends there.

Ivhon
08-09-2009, 03:35 PM
Ill comment on the friends thing.

One thing I find (which has been backed up by studies) is that the older you get the more difficult it gets to establish a social network. It requires patience and lots and lots of it. There are a few reasons:

1. People are flakier these days than they used to be. Internet, texting, cell phones and whatnot have taken the premium away from direct interaction. People make all the niceties - "Oh, Id love to get together and ____! Give me a call some time!" and are more and more likely to beg out. You have to be persistent - which makes you feel like a pest - but eventually it starts paying off.

2. When people get married - as I assume many of your friends are doing - they disappear for about 6-12 months typically. Even after that, married couples will tend to hang with married couples. Again persistence, and dont worry about feeling like a third leg.

3. Once your friends have kids, you will likely feel like they have completely abandoned you and just dont want anything to do with you anymore. That isn't true, its just that kids take amazing amounts of time. Singles and childless couples can get frustrated when their friends with children cant drop everything and hang out. Even when advance plans get made, they get cancelled. Its NOT about you...its just that kids are crazy work.

So...be patient and persistent - even if you feel like a pest sometimes. Don't take things personally...we live in a flaky culture. Be specific when you want to do something: "Let's get together sometime" will never happen... "Ill call you Wednesday to see what your next week looks like" might just.

As for where to live...from what I know of you, RDU might be ideal - especially if you have plug-in friends there already. Tech center, boomtown, colleges and theaters abound, Charlotte/Asheville/Outer Banks close.... But Im sure you've done your research on that.

Brita
08-09-2009, 03:40 PM
I echo both spammer and Z. And great perspective added Ivhon.

MsMoonshadow
08-09-2009, 03:40 PM
I certainly can't offer much advice, ya know, since I just moved from the chicagoLand area.....

But I think the best suggestion thus far was: can you crash at home whilst looking up in NC.

(I have only visited ATL, for the airport. no input there. I have visited a lot in Birmingham, for a big city I liked it, but I am wierd and I admit it. As for chicago, I went there twice on business, and once to pick someone up... wasn't that fond of the place.)

MsMoonshadow
08-09-2009, 03:43 PM
1. People are flakier these days than they used to be.

2. Even after that, married couples will tend to hang with married couples.

3. Singles and childless couples can get frustrated when their friends with children cant drop everything and hang out.

I agree with #1, although I seem to make friends wherever I go. (I have this magnet, you see, it attracks friends and wierdos. Often one person fits both bills)

#2. I take exception to that rule. But again, I have admitted to being unusual.

#3. I like kids, so it doesn't bother me. Even at that wonderful age of ??????????????'s. It can be fun to make up answers......

:cool:

Davian93
08-09-2009, 04:14 PM
But Camel, could you go stay with mom or dad while searching for a job in Raleigh? That way you wouldn't lose as much money and still end up where it sounds like you'd be happiest? I would shoot for Raleigh since you seem to have some good friends there.

Ditto. Stay with a parent (yeah, it sucks but its cheap and saves money) and look for work in Raleigh. Hell, use one of your friends' addresses in Raleigh on your resume so they think you're local (in my experience, that tends to help HR managers/assistants actually push the resume through to a a hiring manager). HR is stupid, very stupid so you dont want them to try and think. HR also thinks they are the hiring manager half the time so they tend to weed out resumes that they don't "feel" are up to snuff. But, honestly, Raleigh seems like a good one out of the choices you outlined.

irerancincpkc
08-09-2009, 04:43 PM
I would say the same Spammer, except if he's not working in Chicago, theres no loss job wise...
True, scratch that part. :)

Sei'taer
08-10-2009, 10:14 PM
SoE loves Seattle for all the reasons you just mentioned.

I have a ton of acquaintances and pretty much two friends. I've kind of always been that way. I'm better friends with people on here than I am with a lot of people irl. Is that weird or what?

My advice is to do what you want to do. Don't let anyone else influence your decision. It's yours and yours alone.

I'm terrible at advice because I always wonder if it will come back and bite me in the butt.

JSUCamel
08-10-2009, 11:06 PM
Thanks for all the advice, guys.

My advice is to do what you want to do. Don't let anyone else influence your decision. It's yours and yours alone.

Yeah. The reason I asked is that I wanted some unbiased opinions about the situation. It's easy for my parents to say "Come to Atlanta" or for my NC friends to say "Move to Raleigh"...

Anyway, all the advice helped, so thanks everyone :)

Brita
08-10-2009, 11:21 PM
Anyway, all the advice helped, so thanks everyone :)

Did you make a decision, or are you still working it through?

Ivhon
08-10-2009, 11:25 PM
Did you make a decision, or are you still working it through?

Stop pressurin' the boy!! He needs to sleep on it, drink on it and shite out the answer in the morning...


Oh, well let me sleep on it
Baby baby let me sleep on it
Well let me sleep on it
Ill give you an answer in the morning.

Brita
08-10-2009, 11:35 PM
Oh, well let me sleep on it
Baby baby let me sleep on it
Well let me sleep on it
Ill give you an answer in the morning.

I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further...

Terez
08-10-2009, 11:57 PM
Oh god I hate Meatloaf....

JSUCamel
08-11-2009, 12:16 AM
I've pretty much decided what I WANT to do.. now I just gotta figure out HOW to make it happen.


We'll see. I'll keep you posted.

yks 6nnetu hing
08-11-2009, 06:30 AM
I hope it turns out ok for you Camel:)

I don't know if it's as hard with moving within the US seeing as it's still more or less a similar culture you end up in but for me... it sometimes feels like I have two homes and at the same time none that are REALLY my home if you know what I mean.

GonzoTheGreat
08-11-2009, 06:58 AM
I've pretty much decided what I WANT to do.. now I just gotta figure out HOW to make it happen.To continue the Meat Loaf theme:

Do ya know what it's like
All revved up with no place to go
Do ya know what it's like
All revved up with no place to go

irerancincpkc
08-11-2009, 07:09 AM
I have a ton of acquaintances and pretty much two friends. I've kind of always been that way. I'm better friends with people on here than I am with a lot of people irl. Is that weird or what?

I don't think its weird; I'm pretty much the same way...

Sei'taer
08-11-2009, 11:43 AM
I don't think its weird; I'm pretty much the same way...

My wife says it's because I'm really easy to get along with, but really hard to know. I do have a tendency to hide the whole me, so I guess that makes sense.

JSUCamel
08-11-2009, 12:13 PM
I hope it turns out ok for you Camel:)

I don't know if it's as hard with moving within the US seeing as it's still more or less a similar culture you end up in but for me... it sometimes feels like I have two homes and at the same time none that are REALLY my home if you know what I mean.

No, it's the same way here. Manteo, NC was home for a summer, but before that, JSU was home for 8 years, and before that... I can always go visit those places, and when I do, they feel like home.. but they're not home anymore. It's a very weird feeling.